It's not so much the half-life of these drugs, but rather the damage that they do. The reason you use birth control for six months after tx is not that the riba (an RNA mutagen) is still around, but rather the damage done to your reproductive system takes that long to clear.
The reason is because many of the physical problems described post treatment are immune-related and it's the interferon that ramps up the immune system. Interferon is also implicated in psychological problems such as depression per the literature.
Ribavirin is tetragenic meaning it can cause birth defects. So from what I've read it's not that ribavirn damages the reproductive system but that minute amounts of the tetragen may be around for as much as six months, given ribavirin's long half life.
I’m thinking it is far beyond the pregnancy stage if I am reading this explanation correctly and that is not to say I am and is why I had posted it.
Beg to differ. On my way out the door right now, but will look up reference later. It's damaged haploid cells that need to be cleared, not actual presence of riba.
I'm not familiar if haploid cells are affected, but the literature always mentions the long-half life of ribavirin as the reason to wait.
"...Significant teratogenic and/or embryocidal effects have been demonstrated in all animal species exposed to ribavirin. In addition, ribavirin has a multiple dose half-life of 12 days, and it may persist in non-plasma compartments for as long as 6 months. Ribavirin therapy is contraindicated in women who are pregnant and in the male partners of women who are pregnant..."
Understand, BUT forget the pregnancy; this is telling me that the ribavirin is trapped inside of the red blood cells for the life time of the cell and when its life is over the cell is degraded by the spleen and in doing so the ribavirin escapes (or is unable to be degraded fully by the spleen) and then is released back into the body to find a newly produced red blood cell, or am I missing something? Another thing I am curious about is if the ribavirin enters tissues, brain etc. could also not be picked up on the blood test markers for symptoms because of the low detection of it over time?